San Antonio Spurs 2017-18 season review: Brandon Paul
By Rob Wolkenbrod
Brandon Paul played his first season with the San Antonio Spurs in 2017-18. Let’s break it all down.
When the San Antonio Spurs signed Brandon Paul to a fully guaranteed two-year deal last summer — pulling him straight out of the 2017 Summer League — it was a move that brought the undrafted player from 2013 to the NBA for the first time. Paul spent time in the Summer League and G League the previous four years, before the Spurs became the team to give him a chance.
Since Paul never played an NBA regular-season game before the start of 2017-18, it was his rookie season. Like Derrick White, though, head coach Gregg Popovich did not give this first-year player much court time.
When the season began, Paul worked himself into playing time, well before Popovich established a rotation and gave Bryn Forbes a consistent spot. Paul averaged 5.0 points per game on a 52.3 shooting percentage and 48 percent from 3-point range in 15.4 minutes; that included three double-digit point games. These stats came in the first 13 matchups of the season.
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Afterward, Paul’s production took a nosedive, and it happened before the Spurs had Tony Parker back and amidst the recurring injuries, this team faced.
From the 14th game on Nov. 14 and on, Paul averaged just 1.6 points, a 38.6 shooting percentage and 7.4 minutes in 51 games. Only two of these appearances were double-digit point efforts, one of which happened in a game that Manu Ginobili and Danny Green did not play in.
What a year! Thank you for your support.. time to rest, recoup & get back to it! #gsg #staytun3d
A post shared by Brandon Paul (@bpaul) on Apr 26, 2018 at 1:43pm PDT
Given the lack of playing time and impact, there’s just not much to break down from Paul’s rookie season. No consistency in his performance or on-court time allow this, especially since most of his appearances were in near the end of the game, when the Spurs were either ahead by a lot or down significantly (Paul had just five games of double-digit minutes over the last two-plus months of the season).
Paul’s contract kicks in for a guaranteed $1.3 million next season after Aug. 1, 2018. To open cap space this offseason, he could become a roster casualty or a trade candidate. That’s unless Popovich wants to give him another chance next season.